Cameron Smith's two-stroke penalty, assessed Sunday for an improper ball placement in a penalty area on the 4th hole Saturday at the FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind, produced a widespread reaction as the Australian started his final round.
Smith was assessed the penalty for an improper ball placement following a drop on No. 4. Smith played his dropped ball on the red penalty line instead of on the in-play side of the line opposite of the water hazard. PGA Tour rules official Gary Young said an on-site rules official noticed it while watching a re-broadcast Saturday night.
Cameron Smith has been penalized two strokes for improper placement of the ball in the penalty area in Round 3.
He now begins the final round trailing by four.
More on the penalty ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/a1wr2Bqv9R
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 14, 2022
Nearly 22 hours after the drop and shot, Smith was assessed the penalty.
The timing of the penalty irked many on social media.
Imagine this in other sports? “There was a pass interference in the first half, we just saw it.” “That pitch last inning should’ve been called a strike.” Nobody is arguing the violation — including, apparently, Cam Smith. It’s the timing. Next-day ruling wrong on so many levels.
— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelTAN) August 14, 2022
@PGATOUR it is absolutely stupid to penalize Cam Smith a day after the supposed penalty and say “the rules are the rules”. If you don’t call it on the field you CAN NOT go to video and call it a day later. These are the kind of situations that cause people to leave the PGA.
— Kirby Sims (@KSims66) August 14, 2022
If professional golf wants to get involved with sports gambling, there has to be a period after the conclusion of a tournament round that scores are final. Cam's Smith penalty was the right call but people obviously placed bets on him after rd3 and before rd4 started
— Evin Priest (@EvinPriest) August 14, 2022
Others mentioned the betting implications. Smith was among the favorites to win the tournament overnight after originally finishing Saturday's round two shots behind leader J.J. Spaun. After the two-stroke penalty, Smith started the round four strokes out of the lead.
— Jeff Sherman (@golfodds) August 14, 2022
Credit to Cam Smith for accepting the ruling. Agree however, that once the round is over the scores need to stand.
— Adam Gold (@AGoldFan) August 14, 2022
The reports of Smith joining the rival LIV Tour following the end of the FedEx Cup playoffs began The Open Champion's crazy week on Wednesday. Smith declined to comment on, but did not deny, the reports.
It didn't stop Golf Twitter from tying Smith's potential impeding move to LIV to the retroactive penalty given an hour later, whether or not the penalty is valid. (By tyhe PGA Tour's rules, it is a valid penalty.)
Not a LIV fan or supporter at all.....but docking Cam Smith 2 shots going into the final round is wack. God I hope he wins.
— Jeff Moss (@totallymossem) August 14, 2022
PGA Tour rules officials watching Cam Smith take a drop pic.twitter.com/bc9xFuEuya
— Dylan Dethier (@dylan_dethier) August 14, 2022
Penalizing a guy a day later because a TV camera caught the ball barely on the hazard (or penalty area) line?
The PGA Tour really doesn’t want him to win this FedEx Cup😂
Jay Monahan in the TV truck finding any infraction he can possibly find from Cam Smith: https://t.co/rqzY8zCshr pic.twitter.com/kj29fOblB4
— Sam Humphreys (@SamHumphreys34) August 14, 2022
*2 shot penalty for Cam Smith
“Downloads docusign on the range”
Welcome to LIV golf pic.twitter.com/wjPlRKD61r
— John Staton IV (@johnstatoniv) August 14, 2022
I don’t care if Cam Smith is headed to LIV Tour, I hope he smokes the field today
— stephen mcdonald (@macadoo42) August 14, 2022
This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Cameron Smith penalty reaction: LIV Tour conspiracies, timing of penalty